An update from the road:
Taylor and I are holed up in Gothic, CO, a scant 4-mile ski from the town of Crested Butte. This is the summer home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, but in winter, its many cabins are boarded up save for two, which house the winter caretakers.
Yesterday, the blue skies gave way to alpenglow as we skinned in before dinner, capping a nine-hour drive from Park City. There, Taylor and I briefly nabbed a couloir in Little Cottonwood canyon. Nothing like a plumb-straight 3300′ line to introduce her to the Wasatch. (More on that later)
Now, with a quick acclimatization ski under our belts, we start the waiting game. 60 hours remain to pack and prepare before we line up at midnight for the Gore-Tex Grand Traverse. This race has been months in the making for us, and while I’m confident in our ability to chug through to the finish, I feel the stirrings of nervousness– however prepared we may be, this ordeal is going to hurt.
Still, of all places to wait in nervousness, this near-ghost-town at the base of Gothic Peak has the winter quiet that has been sorely missed during this busy winter. Soon the race will be past and summer all the nearer. We’re going to miss all of the white. >